Forces of Valor 85232 Imperial Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A6M5 "Zero" Fighter - Pearl Harbor, 1941 (1:72 Scale)
"We have resolved to endure the unendurable and suffer what is insufferable."
- Japanese Emperor Hirohito speaking to the Japanese people after the atomic bombings, August 1945
Aside from the early-morning raid on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, perhaps the biggest shock for American forces in the Pacific was the outstanding performance of the Imperial Navy's main carrier fighter, the beautifully proportioned Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero-Sen. Some 10,500 Zeros were built by Mitsubishi in no fewer than eight different sub-types, and although outclassed by more powerful US fighters from late 1943 onwards, the Zero retained a modicum of 'combatibility' due to its weight.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a Japanese Mitsubishi A6M5c "Zero" fighter.
Wingspan: 5.25 inches
Length: 5 inches
Release Date: July 2012
Historical Account: "The Slayer's Axe" - Shortly before 08:00 on the morning of December 7th, 1941, Japanese aircraft from six fleet carriers struck the Pacific Fleet as it lay in port at Pearl Harbor, and - in the ensuing two attack waves - wrought devastation on the Battle Line and on air and military facilities defending Pearl Harbor.
On board Arizona, the ship's air raid alarm went off about 07:55, and the ship went to general quarters soon thereafter. Shortly after 08:00, a bomb dropped by a high-altitude Kate bomber from the Japanese carrier Kaga hit the side of the #4 turret, glancing off and into the deck below starting a small fire which caused minimal damage.
At 08:06, a bomb from a Hiryu Kate hit between and to starboard of Turrets #1 & 2. The subsequent explosion, which destroyed the forward part of Arizona, was due to the detonation of the ammunition magazine, located in an armored section under the deck. Most experts seem to agree that the bomb could hardly have pierced the armor. Instead, it seems widely accepted that the black powder magazine (used for aircraft catapults) detonated first, igniting the smokeless powder magazine (used for the ship's main armament). A 1944 BUSHIP report suggests that a hatch leading to the black powder magazine was left open, with perhaps inflammable materials stocked nearby. A US Navy historical site history.navy.mil goes as far as to suggest that black powder might have been stockpiled outside of the armored magazine. However, it seems unlikely that a definitive answer to this question might be found. Credit for the hit was officially given to Japanese pilot Tadashi Kusumi. The cataclysmic explosion ripped through the forward part of the ship, touching off fierce fires that burned for two days. (courtesy: Wikipedia)